Monday, March 21, 2011

X-Force #1

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All I have to say is "Rob Liefeld" and I bet you could predict what's coming from this comic. But you'd be wrong, for this comic ALSO has a trading card!



78 comments:

Trevor Frost said...

I am surprised that you didn't know about Rob Liefeld's tracing, its such a big thing its practically a meme in the online comic community.

I tend to be with you on the X-men, there is just so much continuity there. There is no way I can keep up with it all. I will sometimes pick favorite characters (Jamie Madrox and Bobby Drake for example) and pick up issues with them featured but otherwise its kind of a losing battle.

EarthboundKid said...

Great as always, Linkara. It's always fun to see you get a little ranty.

I've come to a realization after going back and rewatching the reviews of the worst comics to be shown on AT4W (Countdown, Cry For Justice, Amazons Attack, and so on). Someone (be it a fan or Lewis himself) needs to compile a list of the top Linkara freak-outs. Seriously, he's had so many that are just bloody hilarious to watch.

The Fedora'd Samurai said...

Lewis, have you heard of a comic series called The Darkness? I've played a video game adaptation that was exceptional, yet I haven't seen an issue of the comic in any book stores that I've gone to. Do you have any thoughts on it?

Mountain King said...

When the words "Rob Liefeld" and "popular" make up part of your introduction I feel part of my soul die. Yet again we are about to be inflicted with the 90's idea of physiology (on that note, I was drawn to the hands on the trading card and the cover, they should be the size of hams, instead they are tiny. It's not just feet Liefeld can't draw)

Mix that with X-men, the most convoluted, insane and repetitive of all the comic book franchises and I shudder. Fortunately, by the end, none of that mattered. In the slightest. I am at a loss for words; this comic was dull, unimaginative, stilted and boring. There was not a single original or unique idea in the whole comic.

As you've said before the "characters" were pointless clones of existing gun happy alien nut-jobs with mysterious pasts (AKA The Value Pack) or sword / dagger toting barbarians with OTT hair (AKA Wolverine).

Can I say, we get it most of the 90's main stream comics suck on toast. There might be a few notable exceptions but if a character (I use the term loosely) is introduced they've got the staying power of a classic Star Trek redshirt.

That was dull with a capital "Durrr" Good review though, despite the severely limited material


Thomas

Sieg-sama said...

About the two-bladed sword.
I'll just link to a page about an identical Final Fantasy Weapon (and we all know how crazy those are)
http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Souba
It actually has it's uses. But they were probably never used in the comic.

Barachiel said...

Part of the problem with X-Force #1, is that it really isn't the first issue. X-Force's storyline began in the last few issues of New Mutants, and X-Force just picked up immediately from where that left off.

Shatterstar and Feral were both introduced in NM #100 (the last issue), and Domino joined the team only a few issues before. The kid with Gideon is Roberto Da Costa aka Sunspot who left the team in #98 or 99.

For a first issue, X-Force pretty much expected you its main audience to be jumping straight in from New Mutants.

Anywho, on another subject, I am a *huge* X-Fan, and have been since the 80s. If you don't mind a little unsolicited advice, I can recommend 3 jumping-on points for your readers.

For those who want to start in the Classic Hey-Day, I suggest tracking down the first few X-Men Essentials volumes. They're black-and-white reprints of everything from Giant X-Men #1 (where the Wolvie/Nightcrawler/ColossusEra team first appeared) though the bulk of the 80s. It's a great place to catch up on the classic Claremont/Cockrum/Byrne era at a cheap price.

The next good jumping on point is Grant Morrisson's turn-of-the-century run on X-men Vol. 2, which is currently collected into 3 large volumes. I myself have severe problems with his tenure, as he raped continuity pretty hard, but for new readers, it should be more palatable.

For those who just want to be a bit closer to current story arcs, I recommend starting with the "Messiah Complex" trade paperback, from 2005. It sets up many of the story arcs still ongoing today, and will get readers into the current situation quickly.

Anonymous said...

What was the guy who had his hand severed by Dumb-swords McGee doing? The panel made it look like he was swinging his scythe at the time and if that was the case, then the force would carry forward and the hand would keep traveling in the air, rather than just dropping to the ground as it would if he was stationary, assuming his swords cut clean and don't change the momentum like comic-book swords tend to do.

Cubey said...

The initial theory about Rob Liefeld Hair is that it's his hairstyle. However, googling for his pictures revealed it not to be the case.

Therefore, the current hypothesis is that this is the hair Rob Liefeld *wishes* to have. He doesn't because reality doesn't look like his bizarre drawings.

Koneko-chan said...

Aside from the double bladed part because someone already comment on it. Why have characters carry swords into a fight that obviously going to have guns? Is it to show that the character is more bad ass or hard core? And it's even stupider when the double bladed sword is meant for combat against another sword. I mean come on writers, you don't have to be a master of the weapon but at least do some research!

Jer Alford said...

I heard Bill Gates started out collecting those polybag collectables(or is it "collectibles"?).

I'm suprised you don't have your own WYSIWYG shirts for sale.

Andrew said...

Here's a few links I that I found of more instances of Rob tracing things, in case anyone is interested.

http://www.heromachine.com/2009/07/10/reason-12c-yet-more-bad-swiping/

http://www.heromachine.com/2009/07/03/reason-12b-more-bad-thievery/

http://www.heromachine.com/2009/06/26/reason-12-he-steals-badly/

Quicksilver said...

Holy coincidences, Batman! I was at a thrift store the other day that had a bunch of X-Force comics, including one with a trading card, and considered buying them to donate to the show.

Cenobite829 said...

Hey Lewis. Great review, as always. Just so you know because you mentioned not knowing domino's powers her whole thing is that she can affect the probablity that something will go her way but she can't control it. It just kicks in when it needs to.

Robert said...

The X-men have always been one of my favorite comics and I like most of the spin-offs but I never really got into X-Force.

If you are looking for a bad X-men story arc I think you should review Planet X by Grant Morrison (I am surprised his work is not featured on this site) it is a great example of how to destroy an old character and a new one at the same time.

I think you should also look into Shatterstar’s min-series ware he goes into another dimension and that is ruled by Spiro (Mojo’s 4 armed producer) calling herself The Apocalypses, she kills most of that worlds heroes and among other things keeps Sunspot a slave so she can rape him (Shaterstar is from the same dimension as her Mojo and Longshot btw)

Anonymous said...

I really hope you have read Atonishing X-men by Whedon! It was funny, exciting, loved it so much. And this is coming for an X-men casual reader. One of my favorite runs.

As for the review I really like it of course. The Liefeld and Miller episodes are always my personal favorites. You can always expect really eff'd up stuff by them.

othergrunty said...

Here is a tip (i have not finished the review yet so if you mentiod in it, sorry).

If someone asks you about X-men again tell them to go to: www.uncannyxmen.net

It's one of the oldest still updating X-men fansites i've ever seen, it has a ton of summaries to individual issues (come to think of it, nearly all X-men related books have their issues summarised there), character spotlights which carefully detailing key events in these characters history, history of villain teams and detailed guides to important events like the Mutant Massacre.

It's a wonderfull site, very well researched and simple to read. Easily surpassing what you can get on wikipedia.

It's how i managed to get into the X-men comics back in 2005.

Even current X-men Legacy writer Mike Carey has revealed that he used the site to get a basic understanding on what X-men are and how certain characters work.

So if people ask you again about X-men tell them to check out this site.

It's a shame there isn't one of this calibre for Spiderman, Batman, Avengers, JLA, etc.

If this sounds like a cheap comercial for the site, so be it, but i simply loved how easy it made it for me to get into X-men and even how to like those old characters with very long and sometimes confusing history like Cable.

Okay on to your review.

NGT said...

Nothing can stop your random gun-toting hero 409!

You know, I think I've figured out the hair. I really do. Liefeld's hairstyle range appears almost identical to the hairstyles seen in the first two X-COM games. Either he participated in them (perish the thought) or he learned to draw from them.

Gideon, former lover of Amanda Gideon. Nightcat exists in the same world as X-Men, gentlemen!

othergrunty said...

Addition: To your review itself.

Nice one, good deliver again of all the gimicks which ruin the reputation of what ever good comics there had been in the 90's (there must have been, an entire decade can't just be full of fail).

It still confuses me that people back then would think of the art in this book as acceptable or even great. I only started reading comics back in the late 90's but even then i allready knew when comic art was merely acceptable or downright bad.

Of course nowdays we still have horrible artist on mainstream comics, but they don't get the hype Liefeld seems to have got back then.

Oh god, Stryfe, he looks so horrible. I remember when he had a cameo in the last X-force series the artist made an effort to reduce the number of blades he had on his head, simply in order to understand being able to move it at all.

I'm still amazed that good writers actualy still could make something intresting out of the characters Liefeld used in this book. Still even they have a hard time explaining some of the stuff from their liefeldian X-force time.

Though at least it proofs there are no bad characters just bad writers.

Liefeld tracing by the way was a fairly popular joke on the internet, but got overshadowed by Greg Land. Who like Liefeld is also called a super start artist despite his obvious lack of creativity.

Nick said...

Rebel-Os the cereal for the revolutionary on the go!

Helena said...

Oh boy. Liefeld. And yup, Youngblood's Disease AGAIN. Just look at that panel where they meet with Black Tom. Their eyes aren't just blank, they actually look like the lens-y holes for the domino masks worn by the green lanterns, the Batfamily, etc. Ahem:

"Attention all comic book characters. If your title ran during the 1990s and you have had a history of inexplicable vision problems, you may have been exposed to Youngblood's Disease, and may be entitled to compensation. Youngblood's Disease is caused by exposure to a condition of reality that spontaneously came into existence five years after Crisis on Infinite Earths and the Secret Wars, and has been shown to be especially deadly when combined with Rob Liefeld, new antihero teams, or anything related to the X Men. These entities may be liable for your condition. Don't wait: pick up the phone and call the law firm of Murdock & Walters at 1-800-616-2814 today!"

ShadowWing Tronix said...

Now I want a Mr. T & The T-Force T-shirt. :(

I never got into the X-Men comics, either, because of the huge cast and otherwise didn't interest me, either. I like my heroes to be treated like heroes, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Talk all the shit about Liefield you want but face he has more money than you will ever look at. Like it or not he did have profound impact on the comic industry of the 90's and thats a fact.

Secondly lets you draw any fucking better Lewis. Because the art in Lightbringer was so fucking good. Actually I just threw up when i typed that. The same comic you had to go through three artists for.

NoWave said...

Actually, it's kind of a random fact, but my brother tells me that there is a reason to use red lights. Simply put, red lights don't affect the dilation of the eyes. Meaning that red lights don't cause you to lose the ability to see in the dark temporarily as you would normally when exiting a bright environment to a dark one. Divers apparently use red lights for this very reason. Perhaps the red lights in cable's ship are to take advantage of this fact?

Now, as for why they would have these lights switched on while they're travelling during the day?

Great review as always dude.

Radar said...

Amazed that money-hungry Marvel didn't make this book with eighty different covers! The issue you showed at the beginning had the Capt. America 50th anniversary "mistake" with the inverted colors! I have one of those!

Cardwell74 said...

Linkara sir, I am disappointed in you. You've been at this how long and you've yet to include, at least to my knowledge, any clips or jokes from Chasing Amy.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Talk all the shit about Liefield you want but face he has more money than you will ever look at. Like it or not he did have profound impact on the comic industry of the 90's and thats a fact."

Sooo because he has more money than me he's free from criticism? And I do indeed keep acknowledging the impact he made. I am of the opinion that the impact was a BAD one.

"Secondly lets you draw any fucking better Lewis. Because the art in Lightbringer was so fucking good. Actually I just threw up when i typed that. The same comic you had to go through three artists for."

Excuse me, but when the hell have I ever said I was a good artist? I freely admit the art I did for Lightbringer sucks because I'm not an artist. And by the way? Telling me to draw better isn't exactly a defense for Liefeld or any bad artist. You don't have to be a good artist to critique a bad one.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Linkara sir, I am disappointed in you. You've been at this how long and you've yet to include, at least to my knowledge, any clips or jokes from Chasing Amy."

It's actually been a while since I've seen Chasing Amy, come to think of it...

Falcovsleon20 said...

Wait, under the THEORY? You mean to tell me I've been wasting my money buying polybags and boards to put my comics in when I'm not reading them and that it's utterly pointless?

(To elaborate, I'm not in it for monetary value purposes when it comes to reading comics but I see no reason why I shouldn't try and keep them in good condition)

FugueforFrog said...

(not sure if my last comment was put up, but basically erase this one if it was...I just mostly talked about how Liefeld criticisms never gets old and a bit on Shatterstar, Boom-Boom and Domino/Copycat and such)

Lizzie said...

We assert that "Rebel-os" go great with milk.

Ah, Cable. The more I learn, the more questions I have. Questions like "Why?" Come to think of it, a story exploring why he's got such a kill-happy team might make for a good read. In hands that are not these.

To throw it out there: When I wanted to get started with X-Men, somebody on a forum pointed me to the Essential X-Men collections. They have served me well.

-Oracle

deuxhero said...

@NGT The X-Com intros are a spoof of Liefeld/early Image work, not the other-way around.


Anyways, "filler" (no story) review of Rob Liefeld writing/art. Nothing that stands out as good or bad.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Wait, under the THEORY? You mean to tell me I've been wasting my money buying polybags and boards to put my comics in when I'm not reading them and that it's utterly pointless?"

Well, question - how long have you been doing it and how often do you open up the comics and compare their relative states? I doubt many people were bagging and boarding sixty years ago, so we'll only know how well it works in a few decades if those comics are intact.

I think it'll certainly help, but it's still a theory. ^_~

Jesse said...

I'm seriously beignning to thinkt he ONLY good thing Rob Liefeild ave us was Deadpool. He wasn't the one that made Deadpool funny/awesome either.

Anonymous said...

Louis, X-Men is fairly easy to start with as there was only one X-title, Uncanny X-Men, under one author (Chris Claremont) from 1975 to 1991. The excessive spin-offs began when Claremont was kicked off the book.

While the original X-Men comics by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Roy Thomas are good they're pretty dated. I'd start with the Marvel Masterworks Uncanny X-Men trades as the writing and art is some of the best ever and the trades contain all the greatest X-Men stories.

If readers want more modern stuff to read, I'd recommend Joss Weadon's first arc on Astonishing X-Men, "Gifted." it is very straightforward and doesn't require much prior knowledge of X-Men lore to enjoy. Grant Morrison's "New X-Men" run is worth reading as well. It does try too hard to be controversial but Morrison's crazy sci-fi ideas make it worth reading.

Des Shinta said...

Huh, good to know that about the X-Men series. I'm trying to review one of the recent miniseries, and the research into some of the more prevalent characters and prior relevant events is taking longer than expected.

Which Weapon X was this Weapon X during the period that comic came out? I'm Assuming they meant Wolverine.

The two-bladed sword reminds me of one of Chou's Weapons from Rurouni Kenshin.

StyxRiver said...

Lewis, what is your opinion on the third X-Force incarnation, the one with Wolverine, X-23, Warpath, Wolfsbane, Angel and Elixer?

And when I see this version of Boom Boom, I immediately open up Nextwave, just because Liefeld makes me rage.

Anonymous said...

Question: What do the the letters on 90's Kid's shirt stand for?
Another question: Did you know that the Power Rangers Zeo comic you reviewed was also drawn by Rob Liefield?
One more question: Do you ever plan to review the Super Mario Bros. and/or Zelda comics that were done by Valiant Comics in the 1980's?

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or is the audio much lower quality than usual on this episode?

ItsJustMarty said...

Pfft, Boom-Boom? The character's name is Boom-Boom? Really? I mean it's bad enough that his costume was ugly and sore to the eyes but isn't "boom-boom" something a three year old says when they've gone to the bathroom on their own? "I made boom-boom". It's actually a very good metaphor for anything Liefeld's ever done. He made boom-boom.

Also, on the point of the sword with two blades, no, that wouldn't work. I could tell you I practice many sword styles, do backyard cutting(it's a very enthralling and relaxing form of exercise), that I've studied the science behind sword making and sword wielding, and memorized all sorts of sword lingo, and I've done all of that. But you have nothing but my word to go on, so as far as you're concerned what I say isn't anymore valid than anybody else's statement. But there it is anyway.

The two blades are seperate from the center so precise cuts would be difficult. More importantly, unless the hilt is exceptionally big(you called it a handle but the handle of a sword is called a grip, which, with the pomel is part of the hilt), or there's two hilts, one for each blade, the blades can't be "full tang". Sword blades need to go into the grip and be secured. The tang is the part of the blade that goes into the hilt.

Without this feature the blades wouldn't be secure, and if you swung it with enough force to cut off someone's hand, sooner or later the unsecured blades would go flying off and likely impale someone. And if the hilt was large enough to accommodate two blades or if it had two grips, the sword would just be unwieldly and a nightmare to hold in your hands.

I hope that cleared up some confusion.

Anonymous said...

I love when 90's kid makes himself sound like a complete idiot. When I die, I want my tomb to say: "Died to save the world from Dr.Insano's doomsday penguins." That would be cooler than all the trading cards in the world! Speaking of that, is Dr.Insano still the president?

I can't wait until we finally get more story episodes. The entity is such a mysterious villain.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Lewis, what is your opinion on the third X-Force incarnation, the one with Wolverine, X-23, Warpath, Wolfsbane, Angel and Elixer?"

Haven't read it, so I have no opinion, sorry. ^^;

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Question: What do the the letters on 90's Kid's shirt stand for?"

What You See Is What You Get

"Another question: Did you know that the Power Rangers Zeo comic you reviewed was also drawn by Rob Liefield?"

Nooo, it was drawn by Todd Nauck.

"One more question: Do you ever plan to review the Super Mario Bros. and/or Zelda comics that were done by Valiant Comics in the 1980's?"

I do, it's just I haven't found a good point for me to take a look at them. But I do own them and I do plan on getting to them.

Anonymous said...

I never noticed this before about your opening....you shop at the Men's Wearhouse.

Jeremy A. Patterson said...

The 'Weapon X' mentioned was Kane from Blood and Metal!

As for Skids frokm B&M, she is alive and well, as a SHIELD agent!

Peter David did make Shatterstar good in his X-Factor run!

J.A.P.

Jeff said...

Also, You neglected to mention that Shatterstar likes dudes.

EinWolf said...

I don't know why but that ending just made me think "Hello, I'm the 90s critic and I remember it even if you don't want to!"

You know, I want to say something in defense of Liefeld's impact on not just the culture of comic books, but the 90s in general. But I can't think of anything, which is a lot sadder than all the riffs in the world. And I'm not even entirely certain if the 90s were a product of his influance or if he's just a product of the 90s.

He certainly didn't corner the market on bad costume designs, all though he did lead the charge in the misguided utility belt crazy. Batman's belt is cool because it serves a function. Maybe if they used all those pounces for ANYTHING! Anything at all! It may have been alright. And the size of the shoulder pads is more a result of his baloon animal anatomy.

Still my main knowledge base of comics comes from Cartoon series because those were free while comics always seemed a bit over priced for the amount of content you actually get.

Maybe if they had Marvel and DC magazines that just published a collection of titles as a monthly or something, like how Manga publishers do it...

But I'm just rambling. I like super heroes, but I hate that they're really stories without beginning or end. Which is another one of those reasons I hate superman... Die already so we can see someone else! Even if they aren't popular! Stick with it build the world! Make people interested for more than just seeing superman punch a hole through time and make comments about how the world is made of card board.

I hate you Superman! You boring SON OF A-

Er. Right. Nice review.

twebb001 said...

Regarding the triple shoulder pads... clearly this is the universe attempting to balance out the ratio one idiotic design at a time. eventually we should see one hero with 50 pairs of shoulder pads.

Anonymous said...

@Robert

That's because Grant Morrison is a good writer, and anyone who thinks otherwise probably doesn't know shit about writing

Anonymous said...

@othergrunty
Liefeld was mostly popular because his art-style was different from what people used to know back when he started, you could say that he was a breath of fresh air back then, despite his many shortcomings

Liefeld's downfall was caused partially by the fact that everyone started copying him until people got sick of it

Anonymous said...

@Jesse
"I'm seriously beignning to thinkt he ONLY good thing Rob Liefeild ave us was Deadpool."

NOT
TRUE
AT ALL!

Cable and Domino are both characters that he created for Marvel and that remain popular until this day

With Alan Moore, he co-created Supreme, which was one of the best titles Image published in the early days

Sure, you can give the credit to the writers, but that does not change the fact that he created them

Anonymous said...

@EinWolf

"You know, I want to say something in defence of Liefeld's impact on not just the culture of comic books, but the 90s in general. But I can't think of anything, which is a lot sadder than all the riffs in the world. And I'm not even entirely certain if the 90s were a product of his influence or if he's just a product of the 90s."

Actually it's pretty easy to defend.
Liefeld was a creation of his time, born in the right time on the right place.
After the all-consuming power of the CCA, that held the industry in thrall for more than 30 years, finally came crashing down, the writers and artists embraced their sudden freedom, and celebrated by doing all the stuff they weren't allowed to before.
This stuff sold well, because it was different from what people were used to. The companies noticed this, and decided to make every single one of their titles like this in order to cash-in on this phenomena.
Soon, everything was the same again and people grew tired of it, and so they turned everything back to the way it was, but rich with new experiences.

One may think of the 90s as a huge party, and a testing field for new ideas and concepts - some of which were more successful than the others.


"I like super heroes, but I hate that they're really stories without beginning or end."
Amen to that
This is exactly why I prefer the cartoons and movies to the actual comics they are based off, and why I generally prefer to read manga and European comics to American ones. Even is they may go on for years (like Eiichiro Oda's One Piece or Lewis Trondheim's Donjon), you know that the plot is actually going somewhere!
When reading American comics, I generally prefer graphic novels or Elseworlds stories. Maybe a limited series if it isn't too heavy on continuity.

But yeah, sometimes I have the feeling that Marvel and DC should just cancel all of their titles and only focus on doing adaptations and re-printing their best works, along with creator-owned works.
Astro Boy 's been surviving like this for more than 60 years.
Someone with such an enduring presence like Batman, Superman and Spiderman shouldn't have a problem with keeping-up.

Anonymous said...

To the Superman hater above


...um....wow....painfully thinly-veiled filibuster much?

You do know it was Superboy Prime who punched a hole through time, right? And that there is almost no similarity between the personalities of the cartoon Superman and the comics Superman?

*sigh* Of course you don't. This is why I never, ever, ever criticize stuff that I'm not really, really well-versed in: I'm afraid of looking like an idiot like you.

Falcovsleon20 said...

"Well, question - how long have you been doing it and how often do you open up the comics and compare their relative states? I doubt many people were bagging and boarding sixty years ago, so we'll only know how well it works in a few decades if those comics are intact.

I think it'll certainly help, but it's still a theory. ^_~"

Oh okay, I see. I've only been doing it for a year or so now so I can't really vouch for any conclusive results to that.

I'm only a little paranoid on the subject due to the fact that it took me nearly a year to find a store that stocked a certain independent title that I read and I want to preserve the issues for a good long amount of time. (Since TPBs are pretty expensive nowadays)

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"I'm only a little paranoid on the subject due to the fact that it took me nearly a year to find a store that stocked a certain independent title that I read and I want to preserve the issues for a good long amount of time. (Since TPBs are pretty expensive nowadays)"

It might be in your best interests to scan them at some point to have a digital backup for yourself just in case. Yeah, I know it's not the same thing as having the physical copy in your hand, but it's security.

xzeon55 said...

No Scott Pilgrim reference?

Liefeld, how did he keep his job. How in the hell was he so popular.

Tegan Dumpleton said...

Ah, the 90s--- ridiculous shoulderpads and hulkng bodies and useless trading cards.

Well, if people are having trouble getting into the X-men, they could try what i did: Start with a character instead. You find a character your interested in and follow the books they are in and see where it goes from there.

For example, I started with X-23, and which got me to read the main x-men titles when she joined the x-men, which introduced me to a slew of characters that i never knew about but now adore. And when anything from the X-men's past showed up that i didn't know about, like, say, Nimrod, the book would either give a good enough explanation, or i could quickly look it up on a wiki. And eventually, i got me into reading books about other x-men characters.

Though i do see this backfiring with a character that has or will eventually die or with someone like Wolverine, who is almost every single Marvel book.

Michael Heide said...

Good X-Men reads:

Essential X-Men Volume 2.
Proteus, Hellfire Club, Dark Phoenix, Days of Future Past, all in one huge volume.

Grant Morrison's New X-Men.
All of it. Including Planet X. I know why some people didn't like that one (which is okay, you can't hold someone's taste against them), but I loved it. To me, it was the perfect bookend to Grant's run. It's sad that Quitely wasn't able to do the whole run, and that neither was Ethan Van Sciver. The fill-in artwork of the run was inconsistent, sometimes rushed. And I'm still annoyed at Marvel retconning every single thing about this run. But in itself, it's a very good read.

Astonishing X-Men.
Joss Whedon. John Cassaday. One of the best X-Men rosters. This one was great.

Ultimate X-Men.
Outside of Marvel's official continuity, but the first couple of volumes (basically everything by Millar, Bendis and Vaughan) were great.

Oh, and Anonymous:
Liefeld DID NOT (Oh, hey, Mark) co-create Supreme with Alan Moore. Moore only came in years later. Liefeld's Supreme was "What if Superman was an early 90s Image character". It wasn't until Alan Moore completely reimagined the character (making him a lot closer to the original Silver Age Superman) that he actually became readable.

Jarkes said...

"Nooo, it was drawn by Todd Nauck."
Oh. It's just that, on Power Rangers Zeo's TvTropes page, it had "Rob Liefield" listed, and had an image link to the cover of that comic, so I thought it was him.
(Yes, that was me asking those questions. For some reason, the comment went through as "Anonymous.")

tobymobias said...

"If you are looking for a bad X-men story arc I think you should review Planet X by Grant Morrison (I am surprised his work is not featured on this site)"

"That's because Grant Morrison is a good writer, and anyone who thinks otherwise probably doesn't know shit about writing"

Even good writers can have off moments. Remember when Frank Miller was a good writer?

(That said, I do like Morrison and haven't read Planet X. Just saying.)

Benjamin J said...

Wow. I also didn't realize you weren't aware of Liefeld's tracing, Linkara. If you thought he was a hack before (to use a much less volatile euphemism than I could), just check out some of the many swipes he's become infamous for.

And sure, swipes can be construed as homage or tribute to great artists. Hell, I've done a few myself. But as was said in the HeroMachine links Andrew provided (great insight, there): "If you’re going to swipe another, much greater artist’s work, at least do it the honor of treating it with respect and skill." You have to have some basic grasp of WHY the original sequence works before you can recreate or adapt it in any way that wouldn't make it a shameless, degenerate ripoff.

I think the thing that pisses me off the most about X-Force and Liefeld's involvement in it is that prior to Liefeld, New Mutants was, by all accounts, a consistently excellent comic in it's day, serving as a somewhat darker answer by Marvel to DC's Teen Titans. Chris Claremont expanded the huge mutant universe he'd already started in Uncanny X-Men, and he and Louise Simonson explored complex and edgy (before that word lost all meaning) characters and topics. Bill Sienkiewicz evolved a groundbreaking art style on the title that was unlike anything seen in American comics before - and X-Force is what it all became? Liefeld is the one who saved that title from outright cancellation when sales were low? What the hell were we all thinking in the 90s? That's not a slow decline in quality, that's a frigging nosedive.

BTW Linkara, I'm not sure if it's been suggested to you yet, but if you want a recent X-Men book to check out, go with Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men. It's pretty new reader-friendly, not aggressively heavy on continuity (one or two big things notwithstanding), extremely well written with great action and humor and tons of "lavishly ludicrous" ideas to spare, John Cassady's art kicks ass, and the full run is about 25 issues and is readily available in trades, or one or two massive hardcovers. You won't be disappointed.

EinWolf said...

@Anon 1

I suppose that's true enough. It's not like the extreme thing came from the 90s you could already see the ground work for it in the 80s and it wasn't until the 90s that the media caught up with trends. That's why a lot of the time you'll see guys in tight ripped belly shirts and leather vest while in the 90s baggy clothes were becomming popular.

@Linkara

I apologize for my comments allowing for such baiting comments to be made in regards of my opinions on Superman. Though I don't retract or regret having made them, particularly in the face of having been called an idiot for having them.

Anonymous said...

@tobymobias

I reacted in that way mostly because the commenter I was replying to was pretty much suggesting that Grant Morrison sucks

He complained about Linkara not bashing his work in general

Frankie said...

Hey, Linkara, can you tell us if you're planning on doing any "Top 15" episodes in the near future?

I really like them, and I hope you do something similar to the WTFs or Heroes Becoming Villains, so you have a chance to critique stuff that you can't really critique in a regular review.

airforceone said...

Another awesome review. Hate to be a stickler about something and I don't normally ever make something controversial but I can see Cable's weight being 350 lbs. Here's a few reasons. 1 the ideal weight of 6'8 is roughly 230 lbs. Arnold Schwarzenegger weighed 260 during his off seasons and he was 6'2. The Big Show from WWE weighs in at 500 lbs and is 7' tall. Cable having the height of 6'8 I can see his weight of being 350 lbs mainly because of how enormous he looks.

Le Messor said...

Alpha Flight is not just an X-Men spin-off. They debued there... Debutted? Debused? Debussy? Claude. They Claude there, but they're not stuck in a mutants-only ghetto like an X-title.

I'll agree with others:
If you want to know why people like X-Men, get Gt size 1/94 to roughly 212. (I'd suggest a colour version, since this was done in the days when comics were coloured by people who'd been outside ever in their lives.)
If you want something more recent, get Whedon's Astonishing.
If you want the current stuff, get help. Professional help.

Grant Morrison's run is great. It's only bad to people who have read X-Men before, and know anything about the characters.

le-messor said...

Bags and boards:
If you don't use them, the covers get crinkled and mussed up. It happens.
The comics also get folded, sometimes, when you put them in their boxes (you use boxes, right? Right?)

A more hidden aspect: Boards protect from sun damage by shading the comics. A lot of my old comics from before I started using them have pale strips along the tops.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"The comics also get folded, sometimes, when you put them in their boxes (you use boxes, right? Right?)"

For me, not really. I don't read comics for long-term investment value. I shove them in a plastic drawer until I can get a trade for them or, if they're older and don't have trades, I have them in a binder.

I read for the story, which is easier in an actual collected book form and not so much as a floppy.

le-messor said...

Oh, me too. I definitely get them for the story. When I say 'put them in their boxes', that often happens to the same issue many, many times.

But, story or investment, why let them deteriorate needlessly?

I just have way too many to keep anywhere but in boxes. It also helps me to keep serieses together, so sometimes I can reread an entire series in a row.

Ebon said...

Great review, always fun to see you get a bit heated. BTW, any chance you'll get around to that "Ultimatum" review? I remember you reviewing "Ultimates 3" to set it up but I don't think you ever got around to "Ultimatum" itself.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Great review, always fun to see you get a bit heated. BTW, any chance you'll get around to that "Ultimatum" review? I remember you reviewing "Ultimates 3" to set it up but I don't think you ever got around to "Ultimatum" itself. "

Check the list of upcoming reviews. ^_~

Undeadpool said...

The comments about how much people say between panels/actions actually reminds me of the one thing Frank Miller did right: comic book pacing.
As much as I hate him, he was one of, if not THE first, to have next to no dialog during battles, thus allowing the readers' eyes to move across the fight scenes as quickly as it would normally be moving.
Credit where it's due.

Pete Wolf said...

Alright, this is the #1 proof on why New mutants should have never left Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod's writing and artistic controls, respectively. When it had them writing and penciling, they were likable, human, well drawn, and every part of the book, from action, to comedy, to drama, served to establish that characterization, and to advance their development.

Apart from that, though, I'd suggest anyone with the disposable income to purchase the DVD collection, that marvel released a couple years ago. It has every Uncanny X-men issue from 1-461 in color as well as the Annuals. Alternatively, The Marvel Essentials trades work well, and they're pretty cheap, but they're in Black and white, which really makes it lose a bit in translation, and you don't get as much from your money

I'd advise starting with something by Chris Claremont. He's a real master of the craft, and he knows how to humanize the characters, while keeping action and drama, and even the occasional bit of comedy.

Jeremy A. Patterson said...

Nice trivia: Before Rob Liefeld took over art duties on New Mutants, NM was one of Marvel's LOWEST selling books! You should review a few issue's of the post-Claremont/pre-Liefeld period of the book (issues #55 to #85) to find out why: Silly stories, lame new additions like Bird-Brain, Gosamyr, Rusty and Skids; plus questionable decisions!

J.A.P.

Mr. Instron said...

This whole commentary was hysterical:) Very fun 20 minutes.

AND you missed some of the funniest stuff in the book, like the tail coming out of Feral's asscheek, or the square table turning round from panel to panel.

That said, for all the fun of bashing it, this was one of the most iconic books of the generation and certainly not anywhere near as badly as you made it out to be:)

And as a fan at the time, it was a breath of fresh air and was way better than some of the convoluted crap Claremont always did.

And the opening fight? Exactly what I was waiting for after the last few issues of NM. It delivered far better than some of the other stinkers of the day like Death of Superman or most Image books.

X-Force #1 was FUN.

And as far as Liefeld goes, you won't find much better art in his entire career than in this book. Bash him all you want, this book was gorgeous.

JLH said...

Heh, I see that, despite holding the polybagged issue at the start, you instead are holding the non-polybagged gold-background 2nd printing during the actual review. Did 90s Kid pop in and demand you not open the 1st printing or something?

le-messor said...

Pete Wolf quotheth:
"Apart from that, though, I'd suggest anyone with the disposable income to purchase the DVD collection, that marvel released a couple years ago. It has every Uncanny X-men issue from 1-461 in color"

I've just got the second Omnibus - also recommended (but I got it 'cheap' due to Borders' closing), meaning the fist gap in my Uncanny collection is #350.

The 100s-200s are the best, for my tastes.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Reaper's hand is like Mazinger Z (i.e., Rocket Punch)

Anonymous said...

Judging by the tiled screen, it appears that Stryfe is using the abomination of an OS that is Windows 8.